CMU Daily - on the inside 1 Apr 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Canadian courts don't play ball on anti-download mission
- MTV & VPL reach deal on royalties
- EMI announce downsizing and roster cull
- New Atlantic structure confirmed
- Dre retires from performing
- Timbaland retires completely
- Jacko round up
- Apple vs Apple moves on
- Eavis denies Darkness claims
- 3 Doors Down man hit out in self defence
- Dublin EU celebration gig cancelled
- Mcfly not Busted ok?
- Minogue bootlegger stands his ground
- Morrisette ordained over the net


Even if you buy the theory that suing kids who share music on the internet fixes everything, there's something of a proviso that you win the case should it go to court. Which is why - in light of the BPI and IFPI's recent announcements re their anti-download plans - that a court ruling in Canada yesterday was very interesting.

As previously reported, the Canadian Recording Industry Association has been busy of late taking 29 anonymous 'serial downloaders' (they know the defendants' computers' IP address, but not their names) to court claming they had violated Canadian copyright law by illegally sharing music owned by record labels - that is to say by giving members of P2P networks like Kazaa access to their MP3 collections. The key aim of the John/Jane Doe cases was to force the defendants' ISPs to reveal their identities.

But Justice Konrad von Finckenstein in the Canadian Federal Court yesterday said he shared the opinion of the Copyright Board of Canada, who recently proclaimed current copyright law there does not outlaw the sharing of music via P2P systems like Kazaa.

Von Finckenstein: "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings. They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service. I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P service".

That's a surprisingly clear cut decision on the judge's part which Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who specialises in internet issues, described as "a remarkable decision. He's clearly ruled that uploading/downloading activity isn't unlawful. It raises questions of the viability of suing individual users in Canada under current Canadian copyright law."

The CRIA confirmed they would appeal the decision. "We feel that we have firm grounds for appeal. You cannot have widespread copyright infringement without any penalties or deterrents. We believe the case that we filed was a strong case proving copyright infringement. It's something we will continue to pursue."

Or course Von Finckenstein's ruling doesn't ask whether the source of the music in the defendents' record collections was legitimate to start with (ie did they burn them off legit copies of the CD, or did they in turn download them from other people's computers?). But that's because the music industry is currently targeting primarily those people who make large amounts of music accessible via the P2P networks, rather than those who source tracks from those collections - mainly because the latter group is far too big to really target on a case by case basis.

That means the Canadian ruling could prove problematic for the IFPI, RIAA, BPI et al. To be a successful anti-downloading publicity campaign (which is essentially what the industry's legal campaign is) the major labels need to win some high profile cases in court. If the courts prove inconsistent in their support of the music industry's case (even in the US and Australia court support has not be absolute) then that campaign will be severely hampered.


Phew, breaking news as we write this! I think this is what's known in the trade as a last minute resolution.

With the risk that MTV would have to fulfil its threat and take the White Stripes, Libertines, Strokes, Dizzee Rascal, Delays, Bjork and - heavens above - Craig David and Victoria Beckham off the air today, the TV network and the royalties body that represents the European independent sector have done a deal.

As previously reported, MTV and independent royalties body VPL have been in dispute for the best part of eighteen months over the forme'rs attempts to renegotiate royalty terms with the latter (full summary in last week's CMU Weekly, still online at here).

MTV had refused to talk to VPL and was trying to do deals direct with the independents. It had set 31 Mar as a deadline for such deals to be done - otherwise, it said, it would be forced to take said labels' artists off its playlists. But the independent sector stuck together and at a press conference in London last week set out its side of the argument and insisted MTV should re-open talks with VPL.

Despite initial reluctance, MTV reopened meetings with the body and this morning - right on an albeit self-set deadline - the two sides confirmed a deal had been done. The exact specifics of the deal have yet to be confirmed - though we will summarise the key points delivered by both sides in tomorrow's Daily.

Confirming the deal VPL boss Fran Nevrkla told reporters: "I am delighted that VPL has been able to facilitate a new collective agreement with MTV on behalf of the independent record companies, thus confirming a mutually successful partnership which goes back to MTV's launch in Europe. I am very grateful to the independent sector for demonstrating their passion for music, loyalty to their artists as well as their fundamental belief in the value of music and the crucial importance of copyright which is the very lifeblood of the music industry. AIM and Impala have played a crucial role in underlying this important message."

Various key players in the independent sector lined up to voice their support for the move.

Ninja Tune's Peter Quicke commented: "I am very pleased that MTV have recognised the value of our music and the importance of collective licensing both to them and us. We love having our videos played on MTV and are pleased that for the term of this deal this can continue."

Beggar's Martin Mills added: "We're delighted that the music people at MTV have seen fit to accept the right of independent labels and artists to be fairly remunerated for the use of their valuable rights "

And AIM boss Alison Wenham said: "We are very pleased indeed that this particular argument is over. We hope and trust that the principle of collective licensing, dear to the independent community, is now respected and upheld. We now look forward to discussing with MTV the proper licensing of videos in other territories, and how independent record companies should be paid for the use of these rights".

Over at MTV Brent Hansen, President & Chief Executive of MTV Networks Europe, told CMU: "MTV Networks Europe is and always has been the home of independent music and artists. By signing this deal we are making a firm statement of our unwavering commitment to indie artists and labels, and affirming their value and importance to us and our business."


Following those rumours earlier this week that job cuts were looming at EMI, confirmation came a lot quicker than expected. The London based major yesterday confirmed it will axe 1500 jobs in a bid to save £50 million a year. It also expects to cut its roster by 20%.

Most of the job losses will come from the group's CD production divisions in the US and the Netherlands - the group will start outsourcing most of its manufacturing work. Some jobs will also go at the London HQ - though no word yet on how many and in what areas. Roster cuts will primarily affect "niche and under-performing" non-UK European acts. There will also be some imprint mergers - primarily the Higher Octave and Narada labels, and Christian music departments Sparrow and Forefront.

Announcing the changes EMI chairman Eric Nicoli told reporters: "The actions announced today represent another major step forward. EMI will continue to be an agile and progressive music content company that fully embraces and profits from changes in technology and consumer trends. Whilst we remain optimistic that the market will return to growth in due course, we are committed to being in the best possible shape to compete in all conditions and to take advantage of improving trends."

EMI's share price on the London Stock Exchange rose 18.5 pence to 275.5p following the announcement.

Elsewhere in EMI news, there was speculation last night regarding the sudden departure of the Group's continental Europe head Emmanuel De Buretel. Despite representing the major at the IFPI press conference on music piracy earlier in the week, it is understood De Buretel had already left the company by the time his replacement - Jean-Francois Cecillon - was announced yesterday. De Buretel's departure is most likely linked to disagreements over the latest restructure - and in particular that decision to target European acts in the roster cull.


As expected, Warner Music Group yesterday confirmed the restructuring of its East Coast operations. Following the takeover of Warners by Edgar Bronfman Jnr these will now centre on one division - Atalantic Records Group - which incorporates the Atlantic, Elektra and Lava labels.

As reported yesterday - most on the inside now see this restructure as a takeover of Elektra by Atlantic - and not only the choice of name reflected that fact. Former Atlantic personnel dominate the top team of the new division. Jason Flom - Lava Records founder but essentially an Atlantic man - will become Chairman, while Atlantic exec Craig Kallman will be co-chairman and COO and Atlantic promotions exec Andrea Ganis will head up the new division's promotions operations. The legendary Ahmet Ertegun will remain as Founding Chairman.

The main non-Atlantic blood at the top of the new division is Julie Greenwald. She was until recently President of Island Records, and followed former Island Def Jam boss Lyor Cohen over to the Warners fold after he was recruited by Bronfman to oversee the major's US operations. Since arriving at Warners most assumed she would have a key role on the East Coast, and that was confirmed yesterday when she was appointed President of the new division.

Elektra also comes out badly lower down the hierarchy. The combined staff of Atlantic, Lava and Elektra comes in at 410. That will now be downsized to 229. An internal memo said 50% of the new workforce would come from Atlantic, 35% from Elektra and 15% from Lava.

Announcing the senior appointments Lyor Cohen waxed lyrical thus: "A great music company always needs a central heartbeat to guide the careers of both artists and executives and to nourish the creative process. Jason has proven himself from the outset as an exceptional music man. His A&R resume alone chronicles a remarkable history of contemporary music, and the extraordinary success he's enjoyed with Lava Records is evidence of a natural leader with uncommon business instincts. Craig, right out of college, created a pioneering independent label from scratch and went on to build an outstanding career distinguished by unerring leadership in both the indie and major company arenas. He has a brilliant track record in discovering and breaking talent in a diversity of musical genres. With Julie Greenwald having demonstrated consummate skills in management, operations and marketing, we now have the ideal team in place."


Dr Dre has reportedly scrapped plans to complete the long awaited 'Detox' album which had been in development since 2001. Due to be Dre's last ever artist album it has been billed as the "most musically advanced hip-hop album ever". But word is Dre wants to concentrate on his production and label management work over performing as an artist himself.


Talking of retirements in the world of hip hop - word is Timbaland is retiring from music completely. More when we get it.


Very nearly becoming the Michael Jackson Update incorporating the CMU Daily this. Here goes...

First up, a source close to the proceedings of the ongoing grand jury hearing that precedes the upcoming Jacko child abuse court case has told reporters (and we should point out they really shouldn't have, but still...) that the fourteen year old boy at the centre of the case gave evidence for the first time yesterday. The hearing has also reportedly heard testimony from Jamie Masada, the comedy club owner who first arranged for Jackson and the boy to meet.

Secondly, and still on the court case, lawyers representing the news organisations in the US continue to press for more openness on the case. Lawyer Theodore Boutrous Jr yesterday petitioned the 2nd District Court of Appeal to reduce the restrictions that have been placed on the media covering the Jackson case, and to provide more information about the aims and remit of the grand jury.

Thirdly, and away from the courts, Jackson met with leading black US politicians yesterday to discuss the AIDS crisis in Africa. The discussion preceded the previously reported awards event which recognising Jackson for his charity and humanitarian work. One of the politicians who saw Jackson told reporters the singer said he was willing to help in any way to raise awareness or funds to tackle the African AIDS crisis.

Fourthly, rumour has it that Quincy Jones has vetoed Jacko's involvement in his We Are The Future charity concert due to take place in Rome on 16 May. Jackson and Jones were two of the key people behind We Are The World - the US equivalent of Band Aid. But this time Quincy has not only failed to invite Jackson to participate, but has actually turned down an offer of help. A source told the New York Post "Michael wants to do the concert because it would help his image right now, but because of the molestation charges, Quincy isn't interested."

Finally on the Jacko front, Michael and sister Janet have been named the most foolish Americans of 2004 in a now annual survey to coincide with April Fools Day. It's the second year Michael has won the award - last year he got it in response to the 'baby-over-the-balcony' incident. This year sister Janet comes second in the survey following Nipplegate. Britney Spears was fourth in the list of fools, mainly because of her shortlived marriage to Jason Alexander.


Developments on the Apple versus Apple front - the former being Apple Mac, the latter the Beatles' company Apple Corps. As previously reported, the latter is suing the former through the UK courts claiming Apple Computers have broken a 1991 agreement over the use of the word Apple - the older company gave the IT firm permission to use the name providing they didn't move into music. Apple Corps argue Apple Computer have broken that commitment with iTunes. Apple Computer disagree claiming iTunes is merely a content distribution system that happens to distribute music.

Apple Computer responded to that lawsuit by trying firstly to get the case moved from London to LA, and secondly to get a US court to uphold their interpretation of the 1991 agreement. The former is still being considered by the UK courts, but on the latter a San Jose judge yesterday gave the computer firm the right to take their case to an American court (Apple Corps was trying to get that attempt dismissed).


Mr Glastonbury Michael Eavis has denied allegations by the Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins that he rubbished the band last Autumn and has called on the rocker to apologise.

He told reporters: "There is no suggestion that we rubbished them [The Darkness] whatsoever. I hope I can get some kind of apology because he's got it all wrong."


A judge in Mississippi has overruled an arrest warrant issued by police there for 3 Doors Down bassist Todd Harrell following that altercation with a newspaper deliveryman.

As previously reported, Harrell got into a fight with one Ronnie Boulware after the latter accused the former of stealing three newspapers. Harrell hit Boulware several times before Boulware pulled a gun, bringing a halt to the fight.

Police issued arrest warrants for both men, but admitted they considered Boulware the aggressor, only issuing the warrant for Harrell because the law obligated them to after Boulware put in an official complaint.

A judge yesterday accepted Harrell's claims he acted in self defence and cancelled the warrant. Boulware has been charged on a weapons charge and is due in court on 4 May.


A major open-air gig in Dublin was cancelled yesterday when it became clear just how much disruption it would cause. The concert - due to take place on 1 May and which would have included performances from Bob Geldof, Alanis Morissette and the Chieftains - was designed to celebrate the enlargement of the European Union. However local authorities calculated that key roads would have to be closed for five days to set up the concert, and they decided that couldn't be justified however good the free concert may have been. A smaller day of celebration on 1 May is now planned.


The Nu-Busted band McFly have told Radio 1 that they hate being called - erm - the new Busted. The band told the station: "Go get them [the people who call them 'new busted' - which I guess includes me], bring them in here, and play them our single and ask them "does it sound like Busted?" No-it-doesn't. We may look like them, but we don't sound like them. Think of all those hip hop artists out there, who look the same, have exactly the same videos, have exactly the same songs, it's annoying for us because we've come from that route, you know, we've got the same managers and we're friends with them. It's just a new guitar pop thing in Britain, and it's really annoying because it's really narrow minded."

Presumably this means the McFly boys will whinge endlessly about not being a 'boy band' too. You'd think an almost guaranteed number one this weekend would shut them up.


Another addition to the Homelands line up - 2 Many DJs were yesterday confirmed as joining the bill for the 29 May festival.


The bloke behind that previously reported bootleg track which includes a recording of an radio interview in which Kylie Minogue kinda lost her rag has come up with a clever way to stop her people stopping him from distributing the track. Claiming that he is facing legal action over the song, remixer Allan Van d'Arc has told NME he will make the track available on his website for a pound per download - with the money going to the NSPCC, one of the charities Ms Minogue publicly supports.

He told NME: "I was very surprised to hear of the reports that people were desperate to ban it basically because I think it is a bit of fun and I think people should have a bit of a sense of humour. I'm not backing down now. It's a charity thing - it's for kids. I'm certainly not taking it down - they'll have to come and take me away."

In Ms Minogue's defence, there is not actual proof as yet either her management or label have officially objected to the track.


And finally ... Alanis Morrisette has been ordained as a minister over the internet in a bid to marry some of her gay couple friends! Morrisette, who played God in the film 'Dogma' of course, hopes to start using her new minister-marrying powers very soon. Joy.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at